Opus focus on publishing
Hong Kong-controlled Opus Group says its exit from the outdoor media market will allow the company to further invest in its core Australian publishing business.
In its annual report for the year ended December 2016, ASX-listed Opus has posted a combined revenue of $87 million – “on par” with the previous year’s revenue of $87.2 million – with profit before tax up 34% to $8.3 million.
“2016 has been an exciting year for the Opus Group, with the group selling Singapore based C.O.S. Printers and making a full divestment of the Out Of Home division with the sale of Cactus Imaging in August 2016,” says Opus Group chairman and chief executive Richard Celarc.
“Our exit from the Outdoor Media market allows the group to dedicate resources to our Publishing Services division with the net proceeds of the sale being used as working capital for the group.
“For continuing operations in the publishing division, pleasingly, revenue wins from new business and continued focus on operational efficiency resulted in increased 2016 revenue up 8% or $6.2 million compared to 2015, with earnings before tax up 13% to $12.4 million.”
With the sale of C.O.S. Printers to Hong Kong based major shareholder 1010 completed in May 2016, the company’s publishing services division consists of McPherson’s Printing, Ligare Book Printers, CanPrint Communications, Union Offset and Canberra Mailing.
“The read-for-pleasure market and to a less extent, the professional and educational market’s demand for printed books, continued its positive momentum in 2016 with general predictions pointing to a stabilisation in print and e-book volumes, with the former continuing to dominate the domestic market,” says Celarc.
“The new hard cover binding line installed at our Riverwood site [Ligare Book Printing and Publishing] in late 2016 is a good example of an investment that will improve production efficiency and boost site capabilities.
“We are also looking to leverage our in-house embellishment capabilities and cross-site support to improve operational efficiency and we will continue to focus resources on improving our value-add to our publishing customers.”
Opus Group’s Publishing Services Division spans the electronic, digital and offset book production spectrum with a suite of business services including Print On Demand, back catalogue fulfilment, content and digital asset management, direct to consumer distribution, virtual warehousing, web storefront and EDI and mailing.
Opus CEO Celarc will step down from the job next month after the company’s AGM but plans to continue as board chairman until 2020.